Sports Hall of Fame inductees to be installed Saturday

The Scott County Sports Hall of Fame will grow a little larger when a class of new inductees are installed during a weekend ceremony.

The fourth class including 10 members will be honored at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Livingston Performing Arts Center at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. Tickets will be $10 per person and are available at locations in Forest, Lake, and Morton.

Bubby Johnston, Forest native and former owner of The Scott County Times, will serve as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. The Morton High School Pep Band will perform prior to the introduction of the inductees, and an autograph signing session will follow the ceremony.

The Hall of Fame held an open house grand opening reception last Saturday at the pavilion at Gaddis Park where displays of past inductees are available for public view.

Frank Edmondson, president of the selection committee, said the Hall of Fame has become an event that the community has looked forward to each year.

“We have pretty much put the finishing touches on the planning so now we’re looking forward to enjoying the experience,” Edmondson said. “We appreciate the continued support of our community.”

The 2018 class members include:

Tom Lee, Forest; Sheldon Thomas, Forest; Lisa Bustin, Forest; Ricky Rogers, Lake; Sammy Pace, Lake; Steven Boozer, Morton; Cecil H. Jones, Morton; Sappy Moore, Morton; Dutch Nichols, Harperville; and N.C. Eiland, Sebastopol.

The Forest ticket locations include the Bank of Forest, Community Bank, and Cox Chevron. Tickets are also available at the Bank of Morton and Scott County Broadcasting Network on Highway 80 in Lake. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The public is welcome to submit nominations for future classes. Once a nominee is submitted, he or she remains in the pool for future consideration.

More information is available at the website: www.scottcountysportshalloffame.org.

Cecil Harris Jones is a native of Morton and was a standout for the Morton Panthers basketball program before advancing to play the same sport at the University of Mississippi. Jones received a basketball scholarship to play at Ole Miss where he lettered during his freshman year in basketball and baseball. He was a three-year varsity letterman and a two-year starter in basketball. He was named an Outstanding College Athlete of America and was named a team captain during his senior year at Ole Miss.

The late Duaine “Sappo” Moore is a native of Morton where he attended Morton High School where he played football, baseball, and basketball before taking his skills to the collegiate level. Moore received a football scholarship to play fullback at Mississippi State University where he served the Bulldogs from 1964 until 1968. After participating as a freshman in 1964, Moore was named a starter and lettered on the varsity team in 1965 and 1967.

Joseph Bernard “Dutch” Nichols, 80, of Hollywood, Fla., was well respected for his athletic playing and coaching abilities during a career that included time spent in Scott County.  Nichols served five years as coach at Harperville Attendance Center. Nichols passed away on February 19, 2017.

Lisa Bustin Cannella had a distinguished athletic and academic career at Forest High School and the University of Southern Mississippi. During her elementary school years, Lisa began competing in junior tennis on the state level and was the top-ranked singles player in Mississippi for a number of years. At Forest High School, Lisa established a state record by winning six high school state championships in singles from 1985 through 1990. She was chosen most valuable player every year. Lisa played singles for four years at USM as a starter on the tennis team in the number 2 slot and won numerous collegiate matches.

Coach N.C. Eiland got his start in sports at Louisville High School where he was a standout in football, track, and baseball. He lettered in all three sports and received a scholarship to attend Alcorn State University where he lettered all four years in the same sports. After graduating from Alcorn in 1957, he started his coaching career at Midway Vocational High School-North Scott Attendance Center. He coached baseball, basketball, and football. He became the head football coach at Sebastopol Attendance Center and remained there for 13 years until retirement.

Ricky Rogers commands a legacy of athletic excellence having earned top honors in football and basketball for the Lake Hornets. Rogers is a native of Lake where he served as a starting quarterback in grades nine through 12. Rogers took his athletic skills to the collegiate level where he played football at Ouachita Baptist University where he was a four-year starter.

Sammy Pace is a native of Lake and attended Lake High School where he played boys basketball for four years, three of which as the starting center. After high school, Pace received a scholarship to play basketball at East Central Junior College and after graduation, he continued his education at Mississippi State University where he participated in their intramural program. Pace coached the girls’ team at Scott Central, where he had a four-year record of 97-27. He briefly coached Sebastopol High School girls team for the last half of a season after the regular coach took time off for personal reasons. This led him to East Central Community College, where he coached both the women’s and men’s teams for one year and the women’s   team for an additional 15 years. He also served as athletic director for nine years while continuing his coaching duties.

There are multiple ways that a person might find Sheldon Thomas around Scott County considering the roles he has played and continues to serve the people of his community. Thomas has served as a mentor and coach, a pastor and a singer, and city official in caring for the infrastructure of the City of Forest among the roles he plays. He is a native of Forest and graduated from Forest High School in 1988. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education at Belhaven College on a basketball scholarship and served in several leadership roles as a student, finishing in 1992.

Steven Andrew Boozer is a native of Pulaski, attended East Rankin Academy and excelled in track and field athletics at the University of Alabama. In college, Boozer was a 2006 Mideast Regional qualifier in the discus. He had a season-best throw of 181 in 2009 in discus at the LSU Tiger Classic and placed second in the event. On the high school level, Boozer broke Mississippi high schools’ state record in discus with a throw of 179.2 in 2003. He was named All-State in 2002 and 2003. He won three state championships in discus and one state championship in shotput while posting two runner-up finishes in shotput. He was also named Clarion-Ledger Athlete of the Week.

Tom S. Lee’s athletic accomplishments include high school and college achievements playing for and alongside other Hall of Fame athletes as well as keeping a family tradition going in sports and law. Lee was a three-sport standout at Forest High School from 1956-59. In Basketball he was a member of Coach Durwood Smith’s basketball teams as a high scoring forward. During his senior year, along with W.D. (Red) Stroud, averaged 23 points per game. Both were chosen to the All-Little Dixie Conference Team. In baseball, Lee was the primary pitcher for three years for the Bearcats and led the team his senior year with a 7-2 record and a .370 batting average. He also played center field and first base. On the collegiate level, Lee was a member of the high scoring Mississippi College Choctaw basketball team from 1959-1963 and was a three-year starter and point guard. His brother, David, was named to the Mississippi College Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. His coach, Durwood Smith, was named to the Scott County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. His teammate, Red Stroud, was named to the Scott County Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, as was his son, Tom S. Lee, Jr.